Monashee Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
August 10, 2018: Area Restriction in place
Due to wildfire activity in the area, the BC Wildfire Service has instituted an area restriction in the Spectrum Creek/Sugar Mountain area [PDF]. Access to Rainbow Falls and Spectrum Lake via Spectrum Creek Forest Service Road (FSR) is currently prohibited.
About This Park
Monashee Provincial Park protects substantial stands of old growth cedar, spruce and hemlock. Lush green forests grace the valley bottoms and, in the spring, alpine meadows blossom with a colourful array of wildflowers. The park is also known for some of the oldest rock formations in western Canada.
Peters and Margie Lakes sparkle beneath 2,697 metre high Mount Fosthall, the highest peak in the park and part of the rugged Monashee Range of snow-capped peaks that surround the park. Lucky visitors may get a glimpse of the rare mountain caribou or wolverine or the much more common mule deer, ground squirrels and pikas. This undeveloped mountain wilderness is a wonderful adventure for both experienced, backcountry hikers and willing beginners alike.
Established Date: June 1, 1962
Park Size: 22,722 hectares
Know Before You Go
- Dogs are not permitted in this park due to potential conflict with red-listed Mountain Caribou.
- Fires are not permitted outside of the Spectrum Lake campground.
- Please be aware that active logging occurs along Spectrum Creek Forest Service Road (FSR). Park users driving to the Spectrum Lake trailhead can expect to encounter logging trucks along this access, as well as Sugar Lake FSR.
2014 Comment Card ResponsesThanks to everyone who submitted comments, concerns and questions to our comment card box in 2014. Some common themes emerged – our responses are below.
- Trail Report [PDF] (August 8, 2017)
BC Parks’ Limited Edition Anniversary PostersMonashee Provincial Park celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012!
- Order your limited-edition Monashee poster for only $15.00 – with 100% of the proceeds going back to Monashee Park!
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
An alternative access to the Park is from the Arrow Lakes side. Follow highway 23 south from Revelstoke to Shelter Bay Forest Service Road (FSR) and turn right. This active logging road is steep and narrow in sections. Follow the Sol Mountain Lodge signs. At kilometre 35 turn right onto North Fosthall Creek FSR, keeping right, for approximately 17 kilometres. The North Fosthall Creek trail starts at the end of the road. The trail may not be well defined and is not regularly maintained. This access should be attempted by experienced backcountry travelers only. The majority of this road access is maintained by Sol Mountain Lodge.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- Conservation: The Monashee’s peaks reach elevations of 3000 metres and the bases are cloaked in dense vegetation. Hiking the low elevations can be difficult, as the forest floor is comprised of clusters of devil’s club and nettles, but rewarding with groves of old-growth cedar, spruce and hemlock. Traversing upward, the distinctive alpine region unfolds with an array of wildflowers, heathers, mosses and lichens.
The Protected Area protects flood plain to alpine. It also protects critical habitat of caribou and ensures continuance of their migration corridors. The area around Rainbow Falls and the riparian zone along a section of the upper Shuswap River are also protected.
- Wildlife: The cool summer temperatures and abundant vegetation provide ideal habitat a variety of wildlife. The park is home to one red-listed bird species, the Northern Goshawk, and two red-listed mammals, the wolverine and mountain caribou. As well as endangered species, the area also boasts moose, mule deer, mountain goat, marten, cougar, black bear, blue-listed grizzly bear and Townsend's big-eared bat.
Activities Available at this Park
- Trail Report [PDF] (August 8, 2017)
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. We encourage all visitors to register online so we can reduce the need to collect fees in the field.
Spectrum Lake, the largest campground in the Park, is located 6 km from the Spectrum Creek trailhead/parking lot. There are 16 sites spread out along the lakeshore and up-slope. Each site has a ten foot by ten foot wooden tent platform or framed earth pad, fire ring and picnic table. Some sites also have a small wooden shelter with cedar shake roof over the picnic table. There are a number of pit toilets. Spectrum Lake provides a great introduction to the backcountry experience for less experienced campers. The understory is sparse, with most of the ground carpeted by moss. A metal food cache pole is located at each end of the campground.
5km uphill from Spectrum Lake, or 11km from the Spectrum Creek trailhead/parking lot, Little Peters Lake is a much smaller facilitated campground. 2 framed-earth tent pads and a pit toilet are provided for those who choose the edge of the sub-alpine meadow as their overnight stop.
Big Peters Lake is the largest campground in the sub-alpine, located 13 km from the Spectrum Creek trailhead / parking lot, or 4km from Little Peters. There are 10 wooden tent platforms or framed-earth pads spread out amongst the trees on the southern end of the lake. There is a metal food cache box, a bear pole, and a pit toilet. The surrounding area is mostly open meadows and wetlands large pockets of Engelmann spruce and sub-alpine fir. Big Peters campground affords a staging area for those interested in exploring the alpine areas of the Park including Mt. Fosthall, Fawn Lake and Valley of the Moon.
Margie Lake, a further 5km from Big Peters Lake, is the final facilitated campground in the sub-alpine area of the Park. It features 2 framed-earth tent pads, and pit toilet and a bear pole. Margie Lake is often used by those hiking over the Fosthall ridge from Sol Mountain Lodge, or up the North Fosthall Creek trail.